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That Crescent City sound

Right Place, Right Time
Right Place, Right Time: Live at Tipitina's Mardi Gras '89
By Dr. John

Hyena Records: 2006

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This review first appeared in Turbula in June 2006.

The most visible example of the New Orleans pianist-singer since the 1980 passing of Professor Longhair, Dr. John's music is a piquant stew of all the influences that meet in the Crescent City. Blues, calypso, Cajun, country, jazz, gospel, Creole, R&B, reggae, classical – it's all there in every song that Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) plays.

Nothing captures the full flavor of Dr. John like a live performance with a crowd to respond and prod him on. The second installment in "The Rebennack Chronicles" from Hyena Records finds the good doctor in a familiar haunt: the famed Tipitina's nightclub in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

While the first album in this series, 2003's "All By Hisself," featured Dr. John in a solo setting, on the new album he's performing with a six-piece band – including horns.

The crowd is well-lubricated and receptive to the music's lilting rhythms, the band is tight, and the song list take in both the well-known ("Junco Partner," "Let the Good Times Roll") and more obscure tracks.

The recording quality is fairly clean, Dr. John's playing is inspired – it's as good an example of the man's music as you'll find.